, Volume 280, Issue 1, pp 255-271
Date: 10 Jul 2012

Galactic Cosmic Ray Modulation and the Last Solar Minimum

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Abstract

In this work the galactic cosmic ray modulation in relation to solar activity indices and heliospheric parameters during the years 1996 – 2010 covering solar cycle 23 and the solar minimum between cycles 23 and 24 is studied. A new perspective of this contribution is that cosmic ray data with a rigidity of 10 GV at the top of the atmosphere obtained from many ground-based neutron monitors were used. The proposed empirical relation gave much better results than those in previous works concerning the hysteresis effect. The proposed models obtained from a combination of solar activity indices and heliospheric parameters give a standard deviation < 10 % for all the cases. The correlation coefficient between the cosmic ray variations of 10 GV and the sunspot number reached a value of r=−0.89 with a time lag of 13.6±0.4 months. The best reproduction of the cosmic ray intensity is obtained by taking into account solar and interplanetary indices such as sunspot number, interplanetary magnetic field, CME index, and heliospheric current sheet tilt. The standard deviation between the observed and calculated values is about 7.15 % for all of solar cycle 23; it also works very well during the different phases of the cycle. Moreover, the use of the cosmic ray intensity of 10 GV during the long minimum period between cycles 23 and 24 is of special interest and is discussed in terms of cosmic ray intensity modulation.